If you trade your authenticity for safety, you may experience the following: anxiety, depression, eating disorders, addiction, rage, blame, resentment, and inexplicable grief. ~ Brené Brown
Baobab Tree, Madagascar
Now, more than ever, we can serve ourselves by further remembering the core of who we are and the natural gifts we have to share. Thus, is the beauty of astrology. It helps us to remember who we authentically are. Can we live our lives without it? Of course. But if we want to extract more from life and have more fulfilling relationships, astrology is a divine tool to help us expedite the way. It shares a personal legend.
One of my favorite quotes on living the authentic life is by Margaret Young who said, “Often people attempt to live their lives backwards: they try to have more things, or more money, in order to do more of what they want so they will be happier. The way it actually works is the reverse. You must first be who you really are, then do what you need to do, in order to have what you want.”
The reason I like this quote so much is that I can relate to it. Can you?
Hence, the baobab tree native to Madagascar. Why? Because it symbolizes what it takes to live authentically. It represents the cycles and seemingly long seasons of nature that we are all a part of.
Leafless for much of the year, the baobab tree often looks like an upside-down oak. So take no shame if you’re still working towards your authentic lifestyle or feel like you are living your life backwards!
Growing mostly in the semi-deserts of Africa and southern Asia, the baobab is the oldest, strongest and longest living of all trees dating back thousands of years. The baobab, lives through the driest of droughts, has fire resistant bark, and produces fruit that has more vitamin C than oranges, more iron than steak, and more antioxidants than blueberries, pomegranates or cranberries. There are several myths about the baobab tree. One African legend tells the story of how the gods got angry at the baobab trees, pulled them up and thrust them back into the ground upside-down. As lore shares, these old, unique, hollow trees are said to be haunted by evil spirits.
So what is your legend? You may recall in my last blog I spoke about the stories we tell ourselves, and I wonder does any of this story sound familiar to you?
Rainer Maria Rilkes said, “What is within surrounds us,” and what stands out to me in this legend of the baobab tree, is the tough bark exterior that protects a hollow center. It reminds me of how we can surround ourselves with armor to weather the storms of life, but may be doing so at the expense of living a hollow and haunted life.
Let’s flip this story around and consider what the hearty oak represents; a tree with solid strength and endurance, where within lies the pith, the center – its essence. The mighty oak grows upwards from the tips of the branches, downward from the roots and outward from the trunk. Its growth is multidimensional. The oak tree has many uses and is connected with several legends of its own.
Our personal legend as told through astrology has also been passed down through generations and has much to tell us. The mythic symbolism of our stories show up in our own unique natal charts offering clues to the tales we tell ourselves. As a result, we can find clarity to create better futures within the seasons of life. We can get back to our essence and make choices in alignment with our authentic self. We can be more purposeful. We can find our strength.
Is it an easy task?
It can often feel a bit like you are “out” of your mind when living “in” your essence. We have to re-write our stories by facing the ghosts and intrinsically filling in the hollowness. Yet, how gratifying it can be to get out of our minds and into our hearts as we write the next chapter.
Albert Einstein shared in his later years, “All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree. All these aspirations are directed toward ennobling man's life, lifting it from the sphere of mere physical existence and leading the individual towards freedom."
What will set you free? What will you do with this precious gift called life?
Break open the seed. Grow the tree. Begin the process of living your essence one branch at a time...
© Cathi Curen 2017